In Vietnam, there is a colloquial term for the use of crystal methamphetamine, which they refer to as ‘fly’. Individuals who are addicted to crystal meth commonly ask each other, “Wanna go for ‘flying’ today?”. However, due to increased police crackdowns, individuals have to be cautious about getting caught.

One person named Tran Van Sau, also known as Big Sau, confidently states that he will show others a safe place to engage in drug use. According to him, this “meth fortress” is luxurious and offers great drugs and girls. The fortress has managed to evade detection by the police, hence the nickname.

A journalist from Tuoi Tre newspaper joined a team of individuals, including Big Sau, on a visit to one of these establishments. They drove to an undisclosed location in Ho Chi Minh City. The reporter found it interesting that no prior reservations were needed to enter the venue or to hire bar girls.

Inside the establishment, there were numerous rooms for guests, accommodating around 30 to 40 people, and a large selection of girls to choose from. According to Big Sau, the owners of these establishments are influential and have connections, allowing them to operate without interference from authorities.

The team visited a karaoke bar called B., located in the Saigon South neighborhood of District 7. The bar had an impressive billboard and a large frontage. The team had no trouble gaining entry and chose a room on the third floor.

The undercover journalist inquired about the prices of the rooms, while Big Sau explained that the cost ranges from VND300,000 ($13) to VND1 million ($43), depending on the size and time of day. The room came equipped with various drinks and snacks to help customers recharge.

Shortly after, a group of seven girls entered the room, dressed provocatively and with noticeable cosmetic enhancements. They were led by a gay man. The atmosphere and environment was conducive to drug use.

A set of crystal meth is placed on a white dish. Photo: Tung Nguyen / Tuoi Tre

A set of crystal meth is placed on a white dish. Photo: Tung Nguyen / Tuoi Tre

Big Sau, experienced in this realm, revealed two small plastic bags containing ketamine, commonly referred to as ‘tray’ in their jargon. He then inquired about the type of crystal meth available and chose a white variant known as AB candy. The price of each candy was VND250,000 ($11). The waiter brought in four candies, along with VND1 million ($43) in charges for the drugs.

All transactions were conducted through the waiters, and the bar girl assigned to the team made it clear that she would be dedicated to serving them exclusively for the entire night.

Big Sau assured the journalist that the owners of the bar were powerful individuals who had invested heavily in the establishment. The venue alone cost VND40 billion ($1.7 million) and generated substantial profits every night. The bill at the end of the night amounted to almost VND20 million ($865) due to exorbitant prices for even basic items.

While the experience may be appealing to some, it is important to note the potential risks and negative repercussions associated with such activities. Individuals who can afford these services tend to be involved in illegal or unlawful businesses. They may have significant personal wealth but may not be prepared to cover future medical expenses. Additionally, the drugs and services offered in these establishments can have detrimental effects on one’s health.

Ha Nguyen, for example, had previously spent large sums of money at these bars, resulting in significant health issues and financial losses. It is crucial for individuals to exercise caution and make wise decisions before becoming involved in such activities.

Despite the potential dangers, these establishments continue to attract wealthy customers, with some willing to spend up to VND200 million ($8,650) for a multi-day experience. However, it is important to recognize the potential consequences and prioritize personal well-being.

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